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AG Slatery and the Secretary of State’s Office Announce Action against Michigan Operators of Government Imposter Scheme Targeting Tennessee Businesses

Defendants previously settled with the state; continue to send alleged phony government mailers
Tuesday, January 19, 2021 | 01:49pm

Nashville- Attorney General Herbert H. Slatery III and the Secretary of State’s office announced a lawsuit against Michigan-based Labor Law Poster Service (LLPS, Inc.), Council for Corporations, LLC, ANS, Inc., and several members of a family that operate these entities: Joseph, Thomas, Steven, Justin, and Teresa Fata. The Fatas run a network of businesses from Michigan that the State alleges harmed Tennesseans—especially business owners—with phony mailers that appear to be sent from the government.

The State alleges that under the names “Corporate Records Service” and “Tennessee Council for Corporations,” Defendants Steven, Joseph, Thomas, and Justin Fata send Tennessee business owners mailers that resemble invoices from the government and demand large fees for documents that business owners could easily create themselves and that are not required to be filed with the State. Similarly, under the name “Workplace Compliance Services,” Defendants Steven and Teresa Fata send mailers that look like invoices, threaten penalties, and demand a large fee for the filing of annual reports, something that business owners can easily do themselves online for a nominal fee. All of the mailers from these companies resemble official forms or invoices and include customized information of the business owner, such as the corporation number and incorporation date. The mailers also include misleading citations of Tennessee statutes, arbitrary due dates, and a purported Nashville return address that is really a UPS store mailbox that forwards payments to Defendants in Michigan or Florida.

“These Defendants pretend to be something they are not in the hopes of preying on unsuspecting Tennessee business owners,” said Secretary of State Tre Hargett. “They take advantage of the fact people don’t always read the fine print. I urge anyone with a question about a solicitation they receive to contact the Division of Business Services immediately.”

The lawsuit accuses LLPS Defendants of violating the Tennessee Consumer Protection Act, the Government Imposters and Deceptive Advertisements Act, and an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance that Defendants entered into in 2007 after the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office investigated prior deceptive mailers.

“The Defendants do not respect the law. They use a revolving door of new names and new entities to persist in a scheme that reaps millions of dollars from unsuspecting Tennessee businesses and others across the country,” said General Slatery.

The State is asking for a temporary injunction against Defendants, monetary relief for business owners who lost money, and statutory civil penalties for violations of state law and the 2007 Assurance of Voluntary Compliance.

Click here to read the complaint: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/attorneygeneral/documents/pr/2021/pr21-04-complaint.pdf

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#21-04:  AG Slatery and the Secretary of State’s Office Announce Action against Michigan Operators of Government Imposter Scheme Targeting Tennessee Businesses